The Space Systems & Technologies Division seeks to advance the state of the art of space systems, launch vehicle, and entry, descent, and landing system design while educating the future leaders of the space industry. The space industry is rapidly growing as the 21st century needs of civil, commercial, and military stakeholders become dependent on space assets alongside the desire to expand humanity’s sphere of influence to cislunar space with an eye towards the first human landing on Mars.

The Space Systems & Technologies Division is at the forefront of space research developing techniques applied to earth-to-orbit, in space, and entry systems. Methods developed by the space group range from conceptual design to the highest levels of fidelity. These include space vehicle sizing and synthesis utilizing MDAO techniques, space campaign architecting utilizing mixed-integer programming, satellite constellation design and optimization, and surface system architectures. Additionally, we are pioneering CFD-in-the-loop flight simulation and are applying this capability to pioneering new methods of characterizing entry vehicle aerodynamics.

The division has supported multiple NASA centers through systems studies and tool development and has won NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NAIC) and Early Stage Innovations (ESI) awards. Researchers from the division were instrumental in the first utilization of exascale computing at NASA as part of the Department of Energy’s INCITE program. The division is also active in Georgia Tech’s cross-institute space initiative as leaders and team members on multiple space mission studies.